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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  10,463 ratings  ·  1,184 reviews
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  10,463 ratings  ·  1,184 reviews


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Sue (Hollywood News Source)
“I also began to notice how white everything was. The students, the students’ teeth, and the fences surrounding the outdoor swimming pools we never used. We all seemed to categorize ourselves without ever explicitly saying anything. Where does that leave students who don’t have a clear category?”

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is the kind of book that I need in my life.

CW: a queer person getting outed, a supporting minor character having a relationship with an adult, ableism language, unch
...more
Emily May
Apr 07, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: young-adult, arc
DNF for now.

Everything about this book sounds awesome and I want it to be known that I did not read further than the second chapter - hence the lack of rating and proper review. But... you know when you start to read a book and everything just feels a bit off? Nothing major, but small things that make you raise an eyebrow or pull up Google to check up on info you're already pretty sure you know. That's what happened in the first 23 pages of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.

This paragraph...
...more
prag ♻
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to prag ♻ by: sofia (sam willows)
update post-read: this is turning out to be a Good Plan already THIS WAS ADORABLE AND FUNNY AND THERE WAS A PLOT TWIST I DIDN'T SEE COMING BUT I LOVED IT

update pre-read: i need to make intelligent life choices so new plan i'm only going to read f/f romances for the rest of my life now
...more
Wendy Darling
DNF This feels like a very slight middle grade book, and is extremely simplistic in terms of plotting, style, emotion, and characterization. Was it also supposed to be funny? It's kind of sad I couldn't really tell. It's too bad, I'd love to see more f/f relationships in YA.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
...more
❀
“I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me. I want to get to learn more about Lisa. I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can't help.”

2☆

This is going to have a lot of spoilers, but here we go:

I'm conflicted about this book. Part of me really, really liked it, I thought that Leila and her love interest were so cute I cou
...more
lov2laf
The strength of this book is that it's from a unique perspective, that of a lesbian Persian-American girl with immigrant parents, coming to terms with who she is and how she still fits within her family.

I agree with some other reviewers that the book isn't without issues and I see the critiques as valid. That said, I still liked the lead character, Leila. She's struggling and she has a sarcastic and dry sense of humor that's endearing. It's easy to sympathize with her situation and I liked how h
...more
jasmine
This book was beautiful: refreshing writing, lovable characters, a realistic spectrum of emotions, and everything I've ever wanted out of a F/F YA book. The romance is sweet and genuine, and it's a relief to read a book about two girls in love that doesn't revolve around sex.

The cast was incredible - diverse, easy to relate to, and the kind of people you end up rooting for. The way this book handled sexuality was amazing, too. I'll be writing a full review someday, but for now... Just read this
...more
tappkalina
I adored this one! I live for that trope when the protagonist dislike certain people without any good reason and at the end becomes friends with them. I just love reading about finding friends.

And nowdays I'm so good at shipping the main character with the right person... do we have an award for that?
...more
Ava
Feb 16, 2017 added it
I don't know what to rate this yet.

It's f/f and some parts are cute...but it's also hurtful, biphobic, and offensive. It's marketed as an adorable f/f romance, and that's not what you get.

I loved we had a lesbian Persian main character, and that Leila's culture was a big part of her life. But other than that? I was disappointed.

Let's have a list.
•stop using the word 'exotic' to describe poc! It's not okay, and I noticed it multiple times.
•biphobic comments were made and not proven to be wro
...more
Paula M
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, arc
MY REVIEW IS ALSO POSTED HERE.

"I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me... I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something  I can't help."


Just-Let-Me-Hold-You-Reaction-Gif

There goes my feels..

Ever feel like you're too old for the book you're reading even though you're just 2 years older than the protagonist? Or that's just me being weird...

It wasn't THAT great. But i
...more
Eli
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I AM SO HAPPY BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK.

Sara Farizan really knows how to write a relatable lesbian teenager. I mean, this definitely was not profound in any sense of the word, but it was still great nonetheless. Leila is so funny and so real that it was hard for me to not feel like I could have been best friends with her. Her struggles were also very relatable. Conservative parents, being preyed upon by selfish girls who want to use you, falling in love with your best friend. All of it was very reali
...more
Liralen
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, z-2015, lgbtq, reviewed, ya
1) I am so happy to see more queer YA lit,
1a) Particularly with female protags,
1b) Particularly with diversity, and
1c) Particularly when the character has already figured out that she's gay, and the entire plot isn't taken up by angsting over this possibility.

2) That said:

Oh.
This bitch is crazy.
(220)

Yes. Yes she is. It really shouldn't have taken Leila 220 pages to figure that out. And it disappoints me—not that Leila let hormones override common sense for so long, but that so much of the plot
...more
Ceili
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbtqia
This book was so cute and fun and good- until it turned biphobic in so many ways. You've got the lady who only dates men but had a "lesbian phase" in college, the girl who ashamedly likes multiple genders but hates labels, and the evil, manipulative, promiscuous villain girl who flirts with and uses people of multiple genders while being described as "crazy" and "psycho"- hello ableism! I am so very heartsore, honestly. I wasn't even here expecting Bi rep, but if I don't find some decent positiv ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
4 stars. This isn't a particularly quality novel, maybe. But it's funny and it's sweet and that's what you need out of a contemporary, right?

My favorite part of this book is the humor. Leila's narrative voice is absolutely hilarious. Her descriptions of each side character are so funny. Her inner thoughts are hilariously relatable. Even when the book gets sad or dark, Leila's voice brings it back into the realm of enjoyable.

Despite the humor, Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel doesn't hesita
...more
enqi ♡
I also began to notice how white everything was. The students, the students’ teeth, and the fences surrounding the outdoor swimming pools we never used. We all seemed to categorize ourselves without ever explicitly saying anything. Where does that leave students who don’t have a clear category?


things i liked:
- cute soft f/f romance
- i love leila. she's a confused sapphic darling who must be protected at all costs
- doesn't follow the conventional romance trope and the twist is something i di
...more
Amy Bruestle
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks, ebooks
This was a cute YA book, about LGBT issues. But it was a bit cheesy.
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: Persian American lesbian mc, wlw couple, side gay character
tw: forced outing, d slur, lesbophobia, mentions of homophobic bullying, toxic friendship, sexual assault, racist microaggressions
Chessa
I really enjoyed this one! Leila is a teenaged Iranian-American and she's gay - and hasn't told anyone. The book deals with her second major crush (which takes place at her private school as opposed to summer camp), navigating friendships and family, and trying to find her place at school - you know, just easy breezy stuff. ;)

Much of the book deals with the crush/friendship with a manipulative girl - it was actually great to see a toxic friendship so accurately portrayed.

I enjoyed getting a lit
...more
Yna the Mood Reader
"I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me. I want to get to learn more about Lisa. I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can't help."

📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA LGBT Romance.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Outing a queer character. Biphobia. Girl on girl hate.
⚠ Book Tags :  Biracial relationships.

The book is abou
...more
B.A. Wilson
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of the ARC for this novel from Algonquin YR through a Goodreads Giveaway, and I read it almost straight through. It sucked me in fast with the perfect amounts of humor, angst, and heartfelt moments.

I totally adored this diverse story which is about growing up, being different, and choosing the type of person you want to become, even if others would choose differently for you. It sent me back about 18 years to those trippy feelings of desperate first crush, to unexpected humiliation
...more
Sarah
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It’s amazing the difference between an audiobook and a print book.

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel is a lesbian coming of age/coming out story featuring Leila, who has fallen for the glamorous new transfer student Saskia. Of course she also has to contend with her Persian parents, perfect older sister, guy friend who doesn’t understand why she doesn’t return his feelings, failing science, and a host of other teenage problems.

I was listening along, noting that Leila’s former friend Lisa was
...more
Alex
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been avoiding YA books for a while because I’m turning 30 later this year and I can’t keep reading about teenagers falling in love, coming out and having a life while I’m still in the closet (5 friends know, and the internet). My family is super religious, SUPER RELIGIOUS, close to fanatic, I’m not, my siblings either, but the rest of them (grandparents, aunts, uncles)? Yeah, a lot. We are really close and even though I love to push my parents limits I KNOW, I just know they wouldn’t take i ...more
charlotte,
(2.5)

definitely one i think u may now call a little dated (i mean, the lesbophobic & misogynistic comments from tomas alone... accurate i'm sure but that they were unchallenged?)

also no one said this was actually about toxic friendships and not just a friends to lovers romance hello?

Rep: Iranian American lesbian mc, bi li, Black side character, part Brazilian side character

CWs: mentions of racist microaggressions, lesbophobia, mentions of homophobic bullying, toxic friendship, sexual assault, d
...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cute-as-a-kitten

Very predictable and not very well written, but hey, positive biracial lesbian YA.
Melissa
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This, by far, is one of the worst, most offensive novels I have read concerning any aspect of the LGBTQ+ community to date. The characters were very limited to their stereotypes, the writing was weak and overblown, and, on top of the crass, outrageous viewpoints on being gay and its corresponding definition and community, bisexuality was vastly misconstrued as a rather perverse, predatory way of life.

Leila is your quintessential teenage girl: she has a few best friends, a loving family, and is n
...more
Angie
I think that anyone who has ever had a crush, no matter what you're sexual orientation, and has felt like they don't fit in for whatever reason will be able to relate to Leila. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is all about Leila figuring herself out. She knows she's gay, but isn't out yet. She already feels like she sticks out at her mostly white high school, and her parents are traditional Persians who want her to be a doctor even though Leila is failing science, so there's no way she can ...more
Michelle Ellis
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was really enjoyable and I devoured it in two sittings. I loved the discussion it brought up about toxic relationships and friendships. The Persian American heritage and cultural exploration excerpts were great as well. The romance was completely swoon worthy. I absolutely loved them together.
The writing was engaging and funny. I laughed and awed out loud many times throughout this book. There were some writing mistakes but I feel that they were things the editor should have caught. I
...more
Claire
After hearing so much about Sara Farizan, this book deeply disappointed me. Uneven prose, shallow characterization, and a predictable plot landed it firmly in the realm of mediocre; rampant biphobia dragged it down into the realm of bad.

I found the antagonist to be unrealistically, one-dimensionally evil; of course, that antagonist was the only (probably) bisexual girl in the book. (Another potentially bisexual character did the whole lovely erasure dance of, "Are you bi?"/"I don't believe in l
...more
Kelly
While the characters were underdeveloped and very little actually happened, I appreciated this story of a girl accepting and opening up about her sexuality. What I liked most, aside from the fact her Iranian background plays a role in the story, was that this wasn't straightforward. There's actually a toxic first relationship, and I felt Farizan did a great job showcasing a girl who took advantage of another person who was in the midst of figuring herself out, knowing damn well that Leila didn't ...more
Lara
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
I feel kinda bad to give only three stars for this book. It was simply not my thing and that's why I didn't get enough caught by the story. For a teenage book and going through the phase of outing oneself to family and friends, it is probably an interesting book. ...more
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Sara Farizan (1984, Massachusetts).

Her parents immigrated from Iran in the seventies, her father a surgeon and her mother a homemaker. Sara grew up feeling different in her private high school not only because of her ethnicity but also because of her liking girls romantically, her lack of excitement in science and math, and her love of writing plays and short stories. So she came out of the close
...more

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I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me. I want to get to learn more about Lisa. I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can't help.”
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